Gold flat; set for best week in three on smaller rate-hike bets

Gold prices were flat on Friday but set for their best week in three ahead of the U.S. jobs report, helped by the dollar’s retreat on expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will slow the pace of interest rate hikes.


* Spot gold was little changed at $1,800.78 per ounce as of 0037 GMT, after hitting its highest level since Aug. 10 earlier in the session. U.S. gold futures were steady at $1,814.60.

* Bullion jumped about 2% on Thursday, setting it on track for its second straight weekly gain.

* The dollar index was headed for a weekly loss of over 1%. A weaker greenback makes dollar-priced gold less expensive for overseas buyers.

* Fed Chair Jerome Powell on Wednesday said the U.S. central bank might scale back the pace of its interest rate hikes as soon as December.

* Lower interest rates tend to improve gold’s appeal as the it reduces the opportunity cost of holding the non-yielding bullion.

* Investors’ focus now turns to the U.S. Labor Department’s non-farm payrolls (NFP) data due at 1330 GMT.

* U.S. consumer spending increased solidly in October, while inflation moderated.

* Global factory output fell widely last month with U.S. manufacturing activity contracting for the first time in 2-1/2 years and the impact of China’s COVID-19 lockdowns weighing, although the downturn eased in Europe, surveys showed on Thursday.

* JPMorgan will join HSBC in storing bullion for the world’s biggest gold-backed exchange-traded fund (ETF), the fund’s operator said on Thursday, ending its rival’s sole guardianship of the $52-billion stash of gold.

* SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.16% on Thursday.

* Spot silver slipped 0.5% to $22.26, platinum fell 0.2% to $1,039.75 and palladium lost 0.7% to $1,927.21.

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